Does using an ethernet cable grant any speed advantage over wifi users on the same network?
The reason I ask is because the network in question is shared by around 10 extended family members each with one or two devices. During peak hours of activity, the internet can frequently become unstable, causing disconnects with services that I would rather not have disconnect.
My question is will using an ethernet cable give me a more stable connection during those hours of activity? Or will using an ethernet still be roughly the same as being connected via wifi?
If using an ethernet is roughly the same as being connected via wifi, is there any other way to get a more stable connection on only one laptop?
IF you can run wired, I would recommend doing it. You're looking at a large increase in speeds, and less interference from other devices/ wireless signals. You should see a much more stable connection and an increase in speed.
Using an Ethernet cable will not make your Internet faster, however it can make it more reliable than WiFi, as sometimes WiFi connection can drop due to interferences, 'noise', etc. Also your Ethernet cable can support higher bandwidth (being it a gigabit ethernet cable, fast ethernet, etc) but let's say this would only be good for quick file transfers or if you run heavy downloads as it can help a little and usually it is better if you are using Skype video calls (WiFi sucks for this).
If your internet gets slow at certain times, then this is because your provider uses throttling, which means because there are many subscribers on the line connected, they regulate everybody's speeds so that they can still have a reasonable connection (bases on what they can offer, this is how ADSL works)
However, if you have many users connecting to WiFi and your connection or other members in your family connection keeps dropping, then it would be good checking up what your router can support in terms of simultaneous devices connected, the speed transfer, etc. and see if you can get something that offers you better coverage, reliability, simultaneous users, etc.